2011 Krapp’s Last Tape
Krapp’s Last Tape was Black Mirror’s first venture taking Beckett out for a walk in public – in other words, producing a Beckett play outside the safe harbor of a college environment.
Two things happened from the very beginning which bode very well for the production. The piece was to be directed by Dennis Corcoran who was an AD and PSM for STLCC-Meramec’s production of Waiting for Godot.
Corcoran met an outstanding actor, who played Estragon, Robbi Souzzi, who agreed to ply his skills to the role of Krapp, a far older character than the actor himself, an STLCC alum. Next came the venue – a letterpress print shop, Firecracker Press, in the Cherokee neighborhood of St. Louis. The venue, the actor and the play were a perfect match!
Although Corcoran considers himself a Beckett purist, he also considers that what happens prior to Beckett’s first line or staging note and what happens after the last line or staging note is his to play with. Thus, the notion of employing pre- and post-shows to a Beckett play.
The production was reviewed for St. Louis public radio, KDHX. The reviewer, a self-proclaimed Beckett purist and student of the Nobel Laureates work, described the show as ”perfect”, pure poetry. He add that while, yes, there was some action, some busy work, added to the beginning and end of the play, he found it to be so well within the spirit of the work and within the soul of the character, he did not object one bit.
The review described Robbi Souzzi, while obviously no where near as old as Krapp, as a ”masterful actor” who in every way, every nuance, carried the show to perfection.
Can Beckett – beyond Waiting for Godot – find his place among St. Louis audiences? I think the answer is clearly, ”yes”.
With STLCC alums Robbi Souzzi as Krapp and Crystal Owen on makeup and hair design, directed by Dennis Corcoran.